Products featured are independently selected by our editorial team and we may earn a commission from purchases made from our links; the retailer may also receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.
We’ve all been there. You need to buy a gift and you know the person is really into cooking — but that’s about it. But there are plenty of kitchen gadgets that hit just the right handy-utensil-you-never-knew-you-needed note. When you’re looking for gifts for home chefs, we like to look for niche tools or appliances, novelty items, and helpfully assembled sets that the receiver (probably) doesn’t already have.
Our picks for the best kitchen gifts range from the goofy (wildlife patterned knife set) to the utilitarian (food storage canisters). The right gift will obviously depend on your relationship to the receiver and the occasion, but in both cases we prioritize creative and unique picks.
What Are the Best Kitchen Gifts?
Our picks for kitchen gifts fall into a few basic categories.
Novelty: For white elephants, gags, and inside jokes, themed and incredibly niche patterns, prints, and shapes are always good for a laugh.
High-End: There are a number of single-use appliances that make perfect gifts for a loved one deserving of a little more thought (and cash). Appliances like pasta makers, air fryers, and sous-vide machines are all gadgets your loved one may not already own but will totally appreciate.
Infomercial Ready: We think that the kind of inventive tools you usually find advertised in infomercials at three in the morning often get a bad rap. These are the kind of tools that seem like a gimmick at first blush, but turn out to be surprisingly handy. Bagel slicers and vegetable slicers come to mind, but wine aerators, battery operated pepper grinders, and defrosting trays make great picks as well.
1. Wildlife Kitchen Knife Set
They’re quirky, they’re silly, and — surprise — they’re actually pretty decent knives. Buy this set of wildlife kitchen knives for the zoologist in your life or your buddy who just gets way too into Shark Week every year. We’re betting neither one already has ’em.
This set of six knives includes everything from a pairing knife to prep knife. Everything comes packaged in a decorative box that’s ready for easy gifting.
2. Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker
Sous vides became trendy for a good reason — because they produce perfectly prepared meals with little to zero effort on the part of the chef. The device attaches to a pot of water where you add food in a sealed bag, and cooks food by circulating heated water at a precise temperature. We like this sous vide in particular for the ease-of-use and handy pre-set controls.
If you know someone who loves to cook or experiment in the kitchen, the sous vide is a gift he or she will appreciate. The best part: unlike bulky countertop appliances, this “stick” tucks away easily in a drawer when not in use.
3. KSL Electric Salt and Pepper Grinder Set
Sure, hand grinding salt and pepper doesn’t take a lot of physical effort, but why put in any effort at all if there’s an alternative? These electric salt and pepper mills are battery-operated with adjustable coarseness settings and a built-in light allowing you to blend up everything from Himalayan salt to dried herbs with the touch of a button. They’re a thoughtful gift for pretty much anyone who enjoys seasoned food.
4. Estilo Brushed Stainless Steel and Glass Canisters
Highly practical and organized home chefs will definitely appreciate this attractive set of four food storage canisters. The four differently-sized glass jars are housed in a stainless steel sleeve with an airtight lid and small window so you can see the jar’s contents. We think these make a thoughtful housewarming gift, as the stainless steel design helps to elevate these beyond basic plastic containers.